Valley of Square Trees – Anton Valley, Panama - Atlas Obscura

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Valley of Square Trees

Anton Valley, Panama

Right angles in the forests of Panama. 


Sitting on the second largest inhabited dormant volcano in the world, the Valley of Square Trees is a dangerous choice for a settlement. Nonetheless people have lived in the area for centuries, even with the possible threat of eruption. But there is something else unusual happening in el Valle.

Unique in the entire world to this Panamanian crater, a group of cottonwood trees have grown with square trunks. With hard right angles, rarely seen in nature, the trees have baffled visitors. Even the “rings,” of the interior tree grow in a square shape and not the typical circle, making the trees truly stick out in nature’s typical curvilinear palette.

Researchers at the University of Florida attempted to grow the trees to see if they would retain their square shapes. From their research, it became evident that the trees are shaped by the local conditions, and can exist only in the Valley of Square Trees. Adventurers hiking near the trees should also take note of the local and endangered brightly-colored yellow frogs. 

Know Before You Go

Behind the Hotel Campestre and well-marked by signs.

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